Setting up our dream house in France
Given our house was reasonably inexpensive, we were lucky that it did not need a lot of work. So our first trip over after Christmas was mostly spent furnishing our place (which Sharon was particularly looking forward to!). While it was definitely fun at first, it soon turned into more like hard work as we quickly realised we needed a few basic necessities, like a bed to sleep on and a fridge to put food in. After picturing meandering through many a French antique market, we ended up buying most of our furniture from the local Super U (similar to Kmart) and Ikea which was an experience in itself (people everywhere, 40 aisles of furniture pickup at the end stacked 5 levels high, 25 checkouts with queues 25 deep!).
After getting the basics, we started to enjoy the process a little more, buying knick knacks including some from a deceased estate a few rues away. For the colour scheme downstairs, we tried to be as French as possible choosing red and green which matched our French hen tablecloth. The painting of red flowers in a green frame by a local artist which Sharon purchased from the centre ville art gallery will go really well in the lounge area when we pick it up. To match the very brown upstairs wallpaper we went with creamy colours. We took a lot of kitchen utensils and manchester over with us so we didn’t need to buy much of that. Our favourite item was our first purchase, a ceramic/iron table and chairs.
As well as furnishing, we needed to get the electricity, water and gas in our names which definitely challenged David’s French skills. David did also paint a wall and rip up carpets on the hallway floor and stairs as well as lino in the upstairs toilet then stained/painted the floorboards underneath. We didn’t touch the attic (other than taking down the pulley once used to bring things from outside into the house via the attic opening; it is now a hanging feature in the house) – in the future we will convert the attic into a bedroom for the kids. While far from a chateau, we are very pleased with our petit French holiday house and are pining to stay there once again.